By Danessa Rivera | Philstar.com
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and New Zealand have deepened their partnership in geothermal energy development by extending the cooperation between the two governments.
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Ambassador of New Zealand to the Philippines Peter Kell recently signed the second amendment to the arrangement between the two nations on geothermal energy cooperation.
“We welcome the formalization of the second amendment to the arrangement on geothermal energy cooperation which comes at such an opportune time, considering that one of our primary goals is to revitalize the state of geothermal energy development and utilization in the Philippines,” Cusi said.
The DOE said the agreement would facilitate the continued exchange of best practices and technical expertise in the geothermal energy sector.
In 2017, the Philippine and New Zealand governments renewed their cooperation for the development of geothermal power resources, extending the collaboration until 2020. Both nations initially signed the bilateral arrangement in 2012.
Its objective is to enhance energy cooperation between the Philippines and New Zealand through government collaboration and the facilitation of private sector initiatives.
The cooperation aims to create a platform for New Zealand’s geothermal industry to engage with the Philippines in accelerating and promoting geothermal development thru the exchange of experiences, information, and technical assistance.
Since the 1970s, the Philippines has benefitted from the technical assistance and innovative solutions provided by New Zealand in the sector.
It may be recalled that the New Zealand government previously assisted the Philippines in developing the Tongonan and Southern Negros geothermal fields which remain operational to this day.
The 112-megawatt (MW) Tongonan geothermal power plant in Leyte and the 222.5-MW Southern Negros geothermal project are owned and operated by Energy Development Corporation, formerly owned by the government and was sold to the Lopez group following the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.